AS the UK enters its traditional summer holiday season, families are taking advantage of the recent easing of lockdown measures to get away and spend time abroad.

However, a local HR firm is urging employers to consider what their overall policy will be on post-holiday quarantine.

Current Government guidance states that individuals travelling to England are required to self-isolate for a period of 14 days unless they are arriving from a country or territory that is exempt from advice against ‘all but essential’ international travel.

The list of exempt countries is under constant review and subject to change with little notice.

Michael Doolin, managing director of Clover HR, said: "On 25th July, Spain, which is a very popular holiday destination, was removed from the list of exempt counties.

READ MORE: Boris Johnson visits new medical centre by Worcestershire firm Speller Metcalfe

"It is very possible therefore, that the list of exempt countries will change while an employee is on holiday, and that they will be required to self-isolate on their return.

"In this event, if employees are unable to work from home, this would obviously disrupt a business, particularly one with an already limited workforce to call on.

"There is no current entitlement to statutory sick pay for employees who cannot do their job from home, but who cannot attend work as a result of any quarantine requirement.

"In addition, if they cannot do their job, they technically have no entitlement to pay even if they are ready and willing to work. Obviously, this creates a very difficult situation for employees.”

READ MORE: Search continues for boy who entered Shavers End Quarry water

The Government has encouraged employers to try to be flexible in these circumstances, but Mr Doolin urged businesses to plan their response in advance to any issues that may arise from an unexpected quarantine period.

"Employers should actively ensure that any employees who are required to self-isolate after travel do not attend the workplace. If they do arrive at the workplace, they should immediately be sent home.

"If employers fail to do this, then they risk breaching their legal duty to ensure the health and safety of their other employees.

“Employers should outline at an early stage what the consequences will be if employees take the risk of going abroad and are caught out by quarantine rules imposed during their trip, particularly where employees cannot work from home.”

“If there is a risk that an employee could go two weeks without pay post-holiday, then it is important that employees are made aware of this before travelling”